MISSING PIECE

The political will
to secure safe
routes to safety

The UK hasn’t resettled any refugees since March 2020.

Safe routes to safety were closed at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. The Government has announced that resettlement will restart… but for just 232 refugees.

The Government has agreed to reopen resettlement to the 232 refugees due to come to the UK in March 2020. This is wonderful news. But it does nothing for the additional 5,000 refugees the Government had previously committed to resettle between April 2020 and March 2021.

Now that the Home Office has conceded that resettlement can begin, working out why the UK won’t fulfil its promise to 5,000 refugees is a puzzle.

It’s a puzzle with a missing piece. Charities, local government and local support groups are ready, the funding required is in place and refugees are waiting. They have waited for more than eight months.

The missing piece is political will. Only political will from the Government to secure safe routes to safety can put us back on the right path to welcoming people fleeing war and persecution.

Charities and local groups

Charities and local groups have made it very clear to the Government that they are able to resettle families arriving to the UK as refugees. They’ve been clear that they can give the support required in a Covid-secure way, taking all precautions necessary.

In fact, many local groups have been paying for flats and houses that have been uninhabited since March because resettled refugees have not arrived to live in them.

Funding

The funding for this year’s resettlement scheme is already committed. Fulfilling the Government’s promise does not require any new money.

Families waiting

In March, 600 refugees already identified for the UK’s resettlement scheme had their suitcases packed, ready to start their lives again in the UK. Those bags have not been unpacked since.

Unable to make the journey, some families have now had their legal status in the country they’re currently in expire. They’re waiting in desperation, with every extra day prolonging their suffering and delaying their chance to live in safety.

The Government’s commitment to resettle 232 refugees will not help even half of them.

Local authorities

Local authorities have confirmed that they want to fulfil their commitment to resettlement and have the capacity to do so safely.

They’ve addressed the challenges posed by the pandemic and shown a determination at local level that must be matched by national Government as soon as possible.

Political will

It really is as simple as the Home Secretary giving the go-ahead. Fulfilling the UK’s promise of welcoming and protecting refugees is in the hands of politicians.

We’re asking them to find the political will, complete the picture and secure safe routes to safety.

Join our campaign: secure safe routes to safety

Will you email your MP asking the Government to show the political will to secure safe routes to safety and commit to a resettling at least 5,000 refugees a year?